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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2427 ..

Canberra. Our low-income earners will suffer the greatest. With a high revenue base arising from a fairer taxation policy federally, we could put dental care into Medicare; finally fund high-speed rail along our eastern seaboard; build even more social housing and more community sports facilities; and fully resource public schools. It is a shame that those representing Canberra at a federal level from both of the two old parties have decided that cash in the pockets of high-income earners is more important than the public that they seek to represent.

Madam Speaker, in closing, you make more than $200,000 a year. I make more than $200,000 a year. We do not need a tax cut.

Environment—Holt micro-forest

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.56): It is a fortunate and regular occurrence that I connect with invaluable community initiatives, and I would like to speak of one of those this afternoon. Recently, I visited the site for the proposed Holt micro-forest, near Holt shops, which the community group kicked off in March this year. This is an innovative use of neglected community green space, with plans to plant over 1,500 native trees, shrubs, grasses and ground covers in the vicinity of Holt shops. This initiative will provide significant ecological and biological value, and it will invigorate the local community.

The generosity behind the micro-forest is also encouraging—financial support, donations, helpful green thumbs, academics and community advocates. It is a testament to how much the community backs this initiative. I found it particularly enjoyable to hear about how much energy and positivity these community volunteers have when speaking about their vision for the micro-forest.

The intentions for this space are ambitious. In particular, the volunteers are excited about the environmental aspect. A huge variety of flora will be planted, and there will be significant consideration of soil health, water harvesting and general environmental betterment in the surrounding neighbourhood. Others are excited about the opportunity for children to play and learn in nature. There will also be a permanent orienteering course.

The project will integrate a First Nations perspective. Knowledge and traditions regarding land management, planting and the properties of vegetation are being incorporated into the design of the Holt micro-forest. It is fantastic to see this innovative environmental community space that will also be educational.

Ginninderra locals want to be able to make the most of their green spaces. They want to invigorate local space. They want to help to enhance community physical and mental wellbeing. I am grateful to represent a community that is so dedicated to consistently improving their local environment.

I would like especially to acknowledge the efforts of Ms Jennifer Bardsley, the convenor of the Holt micro-forest initiative. She and others like her show that grassroots effort can contribute to our community and send valuable messages to government. I am looking forward to seeing this wonderful initiative become a reality.

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